Insurances for health and liability

All residents in the Netherlands are legally obliged to have health insurance coverage. This is one of the important matters to take care of well in advance and before you arrive in the Netherlands. You are also highly recommended to arrange a liability insurance and register with a local doctor as soon as possible. Below you will find more detailed information about what type of insurance you require.

What insurance to arrange?

To determine what healthcare insurance applies to you, we would like to refer you to the flowchart offered by Euraxess.

Public Health Insurance in the Netherlands

If you’re employed & on the payroll in the Netherlands, you’re obliged to take out Dutch public health insurance (basisverzekering). If you are not insured within 4 months after arrival,you will receive a letter of the CAK asking you to sign up for health insurance If you do not, you will receive a high fine. Please also note you will still be owed the monthly insurance premiums. These will therefore be charged retroactively.

How to take out a Dutch public health insurance

Go through the following steps:

  1. Register at the local municipality. You will receive your social security number (BSN) and your residence permit. Both are needed for your health insurance application.
  2. Choose your health insurance from one of the Dutch public health insurers. Fill out the application form and sent it to the health insurer. Dutch health insurers are obliged to accept everyone for the basic package. This can be extended with supplementary insurance (subject to acceptance) to suit your personal situation. You can take part in a special public health insurance for employees of Nyenrode Business University and receive a discount on your basic coverage and/or supplementary insurance package.  
  3. Your health insurance will start (retroactively) from the day you start working. Or, if you reside on a residence permit, on the start date mentioned on your card.
  4. The registration is complete once you have received an insurance policy (in Dutch: polisblad).
  5. If you stop working or if you leave the Netherlands, cancel your insurance. Do not forget to deregister from the municipality.

Bridge your first months

It is important to consider that there will be some time between your departure and the completion of your public health insurance application. To bridge this period, you have 2 options:

  1. Keeping or taking out health insurance in your home country which covers healthcare costs in the Netherlands. 
  2. Taking out private health insurance (ziektekostenverzekering) in the Netherlands. Do not forget to cancel this private health insurance when you are covered by your public health insurance.

Public health insurance and supplementary insurance

Your basic medical care - medical expenses only- is covered by the Dutch public health insurance (basisverzekering).  It does not cover:

  • personal liability
  • accidents
  • repatriation to your home country
  • home contents
  • legal assistance

You will have to take out an extra policy at your health insurance for additional coverage of matters such as extensive dental treatment, physiotherapy etc…, It is important to note you can only change your type of health insurance once a year. You can cancel your old insurance before 1st of January and take out a new insurance before 1st of February.

Compulsory excess (personal contribution)

Before you receive reimbursement from your insurer, you may have to pay an amount yourself: the compulsory excess (verplicht eigen risico or personal contribution). Usually the excess is set at €385 for healthcare, but you could decide yourself if you wish to set it higher or lower. Bills exceeding this excess will be paid directly via your insurer, depending on your chosen policy.

For many medical consults you do not have to pay excess. Examples are:

  • Consulting your general practitioner (except for external laboratory tests)
  • Integrated care
  • Maternity care and obstetric care (except laboratory tests, medicines, chorionic villus sampling and ambulance services)
  • Care appliances used on a temporary basis
  • Care for children up to 18 years 

Would you like more information on the Dutch health insurance (in English and other EU languages)? Please refer to on the Ministry of Health’s website and Euraxess .

Private Health Insurance

You might be staying for a shorter period (between 0-3 years) and/or do not receive salary from the university or any other employer. In this case taking out public health insurance (basisverzekering) may not be an option to you. In that case, you have 2 alternatives:

  • Keeping or taking out health insurance from your home country, which also covers your healthcare costs in the Netherlands.
  • Taking out private health insurance (ziektekostenverzekering) in the Netherlands for the time of your stay.

You’re advised to take out a health insurance that covers pre-existing conditions. This way you will avoid facing high unexpected costs in the unfortunate event of illness.

Letter from the CAK 

During your stay in the Netherlands,  the National Health Care Institute (CAK)  may send you a letter stating that, according to their records, you are not insured and must take out Dutch public health insurance (basiszorgverzekering) immediately. Do not leave this letter unanswered, even if you think it is send to you in error. It is important that you respond to this letter at all times and no later than  three months of receiving the letter. Not doing so may result in a hefty fine.

AON insurance 

Nyenrode highly recommends considering the AON insurance to international staff NOT on the payroll. It covers pre-existing conditions, personal liability, household contents, theft, repatriation and legal advice for guest employees and all accompanying family members.If you’re interested, please refer to their website.

Unsure if you need public or private insurance? 

You may not be on the payroll, but still not be sure if you need a public or private insurance. For instance because you are taking up permanent residence. To find out if you need a public or private insurance, apply for a Wlz insurance assessment.

If you're unsure if you can apply for the Basisverzekering or not, please consult the International Office for further support.

Registering with a doctor

To arrange a doctor’s appointment or specialist’s referral will require you to register with a local GP (with the exception of emergencies of course). Therefore, this is one of the important things on your to-do-list when you arrive to the Netherlands.

How to register

Most GP’s will only register you as their patient, if you live in the service area of their practice. The reason behind this: your GP must be able to reach your home address within 15 minutes in emergencies. As soon as you know where you will be living, you need to register with a GP practice.

You may find a suitable practice by asking other internationals or by using websites like Zorgkaart (Dutch) or Kiesuwhuisarts (Dutch) . The websites are in Dutch, but by entering your postal code or city into the search (zoek) box, you’ll soon find what you need. If you need help, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. You can also use translation tools to help you in the process.

Nearby GP’s (‘huisarts’ or ‘Huisartsenpraktijk’) will be listed on the page for you, most often with a link to their websites. However, not all practices will accept new patients, especially in the larger cities. All GP’s have the same education and most of them will speak English. 

Liability insurance

Taking out a third-party liability insurance will cover any accidental damage or harm you may cause to other persons or property during your stay in the Netherlands. This type of insurance is not obligatory, but recommended. Liability insurance is included in some international student insurance policies, such as AON’s ICS Complete+ package . Alternatively, you can take out a policy with a Dutch insurer or bank. See the Study in Holland website for further information.